A LoyaltyLobby reader sent us a question about a stay that was booked under Hilton’s Friends & Family program.
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READ MORE: Hilton Honors Rate & Bonus Points Offers
Here’s the question from the reader:
As loyal reader of your newsletter I never thought I would reach out to you with a question. I thought everything was answered already, but now I have a question.
Sometimes I book family and friends rates as a friend of mine works at Hilton.
My wife and I had a series of issues at the Waldorf Astoria Dubai Palm in February, complained about it already during our stay and after. Unfortunately, it was our honeymoon.
As I did not get any positive feedback in terms of refund, I sent a message with all issues to Hilton.
Today, after 3 months only apologies, several mails with Hilton, Hilton finally mentioned that they, from a central team perspective, will do nothing because I booked Friends and Family.
I thought: wow. Book (sometimes) cheaper rates, but if something goes wrong, you have to live with it…
I am seriously disappointed, was also reaching out to the hotels senior management, but nothing, all apologies.
UPDATE: How Hilton advises team member about these stays:
Hilton offers highly discounted rates for friends & family members of Hilton and Hilton-affiliated hotel employees. You earn points, get status benefits, and they also qualify for all Hilton promotions like any other paid rate.
These Friends & Family rates are separate from Hilton employee rates that are even lower and are similarly qualifying (great!).
You do have to be careful, however, if you have any issues with the property. I don’t know if these rates are officially excluded any possible stay-related compensation, but it wouldn’t surprise me because they are usually 50% off of the Best Available Rate.
You also have to remember that there might be consequences for the employee if their Friends & Family member complains about the stay or leave critical feedback on the open web.
My advice would be to simply leave or consider the significantly lower rate as a form of compensation if you encounter any issues.
Hilton Friends & Family rates:
You have to be careful if you use these Friends & Family rates that many hospitality sector companies offer to their employees.
There are sometimes stories that friends of employees who may have got them (employees) into trouble by being not aware of the program limitation or rules of which sometimes could be clearer.
You have to give Hilton a credit that they have officially made both employee and Friends & Family rates fully qualifying under the Honors program. You may have to remind employees that you are entitled to all the usual status related benefits on these stays.